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The Back to School Challenge: Get organized for your first homeschool week!Can you believe it’s here already? Whether you’ve been homeschooling all year or won’t be getting back to it until next month, this week is as good as any to do some back-to-school organization.

#1 Create a school schedule

I wrote about scheduling your homeschool several years ago, but thought I would share what my current schedule looks like.

6:00 Devotions, time with my husband, breakfast, workouts on certain days, shower

7:45 Kids up, dress, breakfast (my time for morning must-do’s or time with kids)

8:15 Chores and organizing

8:45 Chore checking and tweaking

9:00 Bible time

9:30 Classical Conversations & other memory work

10:00 Piano

10:30 Tutoring individuals

11:00 Language arts

11:30 History, Science

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Literature

1:30 Individual work (my to-do’s)

2:30 Workout

3:00 Snack

3:15 Weekly chores

3:30 Individual work (my project time)

4:00 Outside play / free time (my project time)

5:00 Dinner & tomorrow’s breakfast prep

6:30 Evening chores

6:45 Family / Activity Time

9:00 Ready for bed & reading (my writing time)

A lot of this schedule is very close to what we actually do. The problem we have is with going to bed and getting up at the same times. We’ll be getting better at this soon! We have activities that necessitate a completely different schedule on one to two days a week, but this is our at-home schedule.

Real Life at Home’s Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Scheduling can help you create a schedule that works for you. Just remember that it’s ALWAYS a work in progress. As a result of heatmapping, I discovered that I was doing subjects that took the most energy at the times I had the least energy. Take your energy levels (and your kids”) into account when you schedule.

#2 Plan activities to make the first day special

I used to surprise the kids with new school supplies when they were younger, but I think I own enough school stuff to supply a small country. Last year I surprised them with a trip out for ice cream.

Heather at Upside Down Homeschooling shares her ideas for making the first day special. I absolutely love the idea of interviewing kids on the first (and last) day of school using these forms.

#3 Check school supplies

Remember what I wrote about having gobs of school supplies? That’s because I’ve skipped this step too often. To prepare for back-to-school, make sure you go through your stash. First, use a school supply list appropriate to your children’s’ ages. This is an example. Cross off items you have or don’t need and then see how many of the items you already own. The rest will be your shopping list.

If you haven’t already organized your supplies, this would be a good day to do it. Check out this great clear organizer.  I also love this school supply organizer I made last year.

DIY homeschool supply organizer

#4 Shop

Now that you know what you actually need, you can shop. Don’t forget office supply stores which often give homeschoolers a teacher discount and are much less crowded this time of year.

I needed notebooks and glue sticks. What do you need to buy to get ready for school?

I’m linking up with A Day in the Life Blog Hop. Check out the great posts!


Here is the August Organized Homeschool Calendar and a list of previous weeks’ challenges:

August 2014 Organized Homeschool Calendar

Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge

Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge

Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Week 15: The Organize Your Finances Challenge

Week 16: The Curriculum Challenge

Week 17: The Friendship Challenge

Week 18: The Family Celebrations Challenge

Week 19: The Organized Clothing Challenge

Week 20: The Organized Vacation Challenge

Week 21: The Organized Summer Challenge

Week 22: The Outdoor Activity Challenge

Week 23: The Used Curriculum Challenge

Week 24: The Homeschool Space Challenge

Week 25: The Goal Setting Challenge

Week 26: The Homeschool Planning Challenge

Week 27: The Bible Time Challenge

Week 28: The Special Study Prep Challenge

Week 29: The Extra-Curricular Challenge

Week 30: The Core Curriculum Prep Challenge

Week 31: The Elective Curriculum Challenge